June 26, 2016

Community Central | Library by Design, Spring 2016

SEEING THRU WALLS AND WINDOWS Above, an 18' x 12' interactive video wall will be featured in the Digital Pavilion at Wichita Public Library’s Advanced Learning Library. Below,  in the Children’s Pavilion, windows will spill light onto furnishings that create distinct areas for each of the four different age groups served

When the recession hit pause on the plans Kansas’s Wichita Public Library (WPL) had to replace its aging central building, library leaders used the opportunity to tap into community feedback. As a result, the replacement will offer features and services tailored to patrons’ needs and will support the city as it moves into the future by fostering civic growth and engagement.

Living, Local Libraries | Library by Design, Spring 2016

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Few libraries are better positioned to host a daylong conference than the Nashville Public Library (NPL). NPL’s elegant Main Library opened in 2001 and still feels new, in part because its style, which designer Robert A.M. Stern described as “modern classical” and which features Ionic columns, Georgia marble floors, and Alabama limestone facing, doesn’t date as quickly as something intended to look state-of-the-art. Its 300,000 square feet include a large, self-contained event space that was perfect for attendees from around the United States to do a deep dive into library design informed by, but not disturbing, the surrounding library business as usual.

Design Institute Nashville Design Challenges | Library by Design, Spring 2016

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At LJ’s Nashville Design Institute, design challenges were held for Boone County Public Library, KY; Marin County Free Library, San Rafael, CA; Lexington–Henderson County Everett Horn Public Library, TN; Normal Public Library, IL; and Orangeburg County Library, SC.

Building Excellence | Library by Design, Spring 2016

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This year, seven libraries received the prestigious 2016 AIA/ALA Library Building Award, which recognizes excellence in architectural library design. The award recipients, chosen by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association (ALA), exemplify how the traditional role of libraries has evolved. The designs of these community spaces differ to reflect the needs of the surrounding residents, which vary according to neighborhood or campus.

The Art of the Matter | Library by Design, Spring 2016

On the plaza outside the Main Library in Palo Alto, CA, six sculptures made from crowdsourced community text change color in response to patrons’ touch. Danielle Wyckoff’s Surroundings in Park City Library, UT. 
Palo Alto photo ©Cesar Rubio; Surroundings photo by Nicholas Swan

Why does art in libraries matter? Erinn Batykefer of the Library as Incubator Project (and a 2014 LJ Mover & Shaker) cites public art’s role in promoting creativity. “Visible art in the library space, whether through gallery shows, public art or performance, or hands-on workshops, is incredibly important in terms of the ‘incubator library’—a space where the right conditions for creative thought and new ideas are protected and promoted,” she tells LJ. “It serves as a visible representation of the connection among information and creativity and innovation…making the library a visible place where creativity is valued and nurtured.” She adds, “Every library, stripped to its barest mission, seeks to connect people with information. Art is information—the product of a creative process and the process itself.”

Work/Space | Library by Design, Spring 2016

At left, flexible reference desk space at the Munday 
Library, St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX.

The world of academic libraries is constantly changing. Many libraries, for example, have undergone radical spatial changes in recent years, positioning themselves as campus centers for study and socializing. These shifts focus on the student’s or library patron’s experience but show little concern for how librarians’ work spaces are changing to meet the profession’s new demands. Finding minimal literature on this topic, we decided to issue a survey directly to academic librarians to delve into their roles and how their spaces affect the quality of their work.

Librarians’ Picks | Library by Design, Fall 2015

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Recently completed building projects offer refreshing and unexpected design solutions to serve patrons.

Product Sourcebook | Library by Design, Fall 2015

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Library by Design’s Product Sourcebook spotlights a curated selection of newly introduced library furnishings and finishings in key purchasing categories, which will rotate from issue to issue. This edition focuses on library products for children and powered furniture.

UpClose: Rooted in Nature | Library by Design, Fall 2015

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The Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest opened in 2010 as Alabama’s first LEED Gold–certified library. The library takes its forest namesake very seriously: fewer than 25 percent of the trees on the site were disturbed in the building’s construction, and no tree more than 40 feet from the building was cut down. Of those that were removed, more than 80 percent were reincorporated into the library itself. The ceilings are made of pine; the entry hall is poplar; the service desks, fireplace exterior cladding, and doors to the community room are made of oak.

UpClose: Alachua Library Keeps Its Cool | Library by Design, Fall 2015

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In hot climates, air conditioning is a necessity to keep libraries livable for patrons and staff, especially during the summer. Climate warming is only exacerbating that situation. Unfortunately, air conditioning in turn accelerates climate warming. Now, innovative alternative cooling systems are looking to reduce that environmental impact, and the Alachua County Library District (ACLD), Gainesville, FL, is leading by example.